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Dec 23, 2007 02:54 PM

The "new" BAZaAR

Went to the new BAZaAR location today for a quick brunch.

The food is as good as one can expect from the BAZaAR staff.

With the mimosa, I was served a small portion of "toasts" that were not really toasted or particulary interresting with a small portion of figue confiture (very good!).

Started with a yogurt with pistachio and honney with a side of fresh fruits; the combination of the yogurt and the nuts and the honey was perfect, They are using real yogurt, not the cheap stuff we can find in stores ( maybe they make their own).

Continued with the "Petit Déjeuner du Moyen Orient", a combination of a warn spicy bean salad (chik peas another bean and tomatoes), really surprising and good, next to that was a small serving of yogurt with olive oil, and some olives; next to that, was the egg, served on a little bit of braised lamb with 2 small pieces of "bread" (not what is served at night at BAZaAR), one was with cheese, the other with herbs and spices.

Very good.

ok, that's enough for the food.

Now, I don't like the new place at all; smaller than the original restaurant, feels "cold" and the space is not well organized, there is a small window front "bar" where one can sit down and eat (a bit like what is done as Bouchonné), 2 tables next to that, and further at the back, a smallish banquette ( 10x2 places?) and another bar with what looked like 5 places.

One of the issue is that they kept the steel "industrialish" floor of the old store in the front and it does not, again, feel good with the chairs they have. nothing middle-easternish at all, lost is the atmosphere at the old place.

Service was ok for a brunch (I think).

I'm kind of afraid that Anise/BAZaAR lost its position as a destination restaurant to a neighbourhood bistrot; except for the food, there's not much to go to; maybe it will change in time, but it does not look like it.

As a brunch place, I believe "Le Réservoir" will keep the first position in my book.

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  1. Passed by it on foot a few minutes ago and was saddened to see the interior. From the window, at least, it looks like the most prominent feature of the room is a refrigerator case holding soft drinks. With the metal floor, white walls and cabinets, sit-in-a-row barstools and other fixtures, it seems cold and utilitarian, more lunch counter than a place where you'd want to go for dinner. There are so few tables, I can't imagine them being able to handle groups of more than four. Perhaps most disturbingly, there were photocopied announcements taped to the front window (not very classy and not something one could imagine ever appearing on the window of the former location) advertising openings for waiters and a manager. Will reserve judgment until I've had the opportunity to dine in the new space, but I fear the Bazaar we knew and loved is gone. Since they didn't seem to be at loss for patrons at the old location, one is left wondering why.

    15 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      I just read in the Gazette that Bazaar Anise has once again closed down.
      I think you may have been seeing ads for the next restaurant.

      1. re: spartacus

        Are you reffering to Lesley Chesterman article from 22 December?

        "Then there was Anise, which we lost not once but twice when news came that the more casual incarnation of the restaurant, Bazaar Anise, closed in the first week of December."

        That's obviously a mistake. The original post is dated 23 December. Bazaar didn't close, it moved. Somebody was a bit lax with their fact checking.

        Edit: ...Or has a very short memory.

        1. re: SnackHappy

          Yes I was referring to Lesley Chesterman's article.
          I guess she was wrong.
          Thanks for the clarification.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            Weird though that the website still has the old
            104 Laurier location listed as address

            1. re: spartacus

              Not the new website:

              Just noticed that the French side of the new website has been updated with a menu and other information. All mention of dinner appears to have disappeared. How depressing.

              1. re: carswell

                This makes me want to cry. This was my standby, the place I always sent people to when they asked for a reasonably priced place for dinner.

                I hope Bouchonne can take over that spot, though it is pricier, depending on the selections you make.

                1. re: carswell

                  This just in:

                  "Happy New Year!

                  BAZaAR Anise is now also opened in the evening at our new address.

                  MORNING: Wednesday thru Friday
                  NOON: Wednesday thru Friday
                  BRUNCH: Saturday and Sunday
                  EVENING: Tuesday thru Saturday"

                  The French menu page has been updated with the dinner offerings, most of which will be familiar to habitués.

                  H/t to Dave. Gotta get back to work...

                  1. re: carswell

                    Just checked out the new schedule. Dinner is served but only from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. No more late nights. Bummer.


                    1. re: carswell

                      Perhaps they can make exceptions on certain Thursdays...

                      1. re: cherylmtl

                        You're hereby mandated to negotiate an arrangement with chef Bassoul.

              2. re: SnackHappy

                I noticed Lesley also made the same mistake in the slideshow where she talks about the best restaurants of 2007(available through the Montreal Gazette website). I immediately noticed it, & did a doubletake when I first heard it.

                1. re: BLM

                  I guess the trick for the website is not to get the link from Google which takes you to the old location.
                  All very sad indeed!!!

                  1. re: BLM

                    Regarding LC's article, is it true that Halte Urbaine closed? I didn't see anything about that on the "Resto Closing" posts, and haven't been in that neck of the woods since this summer.

                    1. re: BLM

                      It is not a mistake. Bazaar Anise, the restaurant that I reviewed last year, didn't move, it closed. The new restaurant is not the same. The three-star, fine-dining restaurant I reviewed is no longer. Easy of them to say it moved, but let's be honest here, it closed.

              3. Passed by the newest of the new BaZaAR today,
                It is closed until January 10th for the holidays.
                From the outside it kind of looks like a Laurier version of Olive and Gourmando

                1. Out of curiosity, I hit Bazaar today for brunch. The space definitely doesn't have the charm of the old place, but it has its own appeal. This new incarnation is much more casual, though the staff kept their sharp pinstriped black aprons.

                  I sat towards the front, watching the street. The staff were friendly and courteous, quickly dropping off the toasted bread with fig confiture; the confiture was lovely, but I found the bits of toast too crunchy - they hurt my mouth!

                  The brunch menu was small but interesting. I was tempted by the yogurt with honey and fruit, but instead went for the omelette of the day made with chives, roasted peppers, olives, and feta cheese. It arrived within minutes and was delicious, perfectly cooked. The quality of the food hasn't suffered at all.

                  The biggest disappointment of the meal was the mimosa, too sour for my tastes, especially at $9 a glass. I'll skip it next time.

                  Overall, I liked it and if I didn't have memories of the original Bazaar in my head, it probably would have been more impressive; I think I'll always miss the old location.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: phedre

                    Very encouraging report! It is always nice to have another good brunch place. When you say a small menu, how small?

                    1. re: moh

                      Not so small!

                      Dishes are served with grilled bread,
                      thyme with olive oil and home-made jam
                      :: Yogourt, honey, nuts and fresh fruits
                      :: Pancakes and dried fruit compote
                      :: Today's Omelet, matchstick fries
                      :: Eggs and Soujouk, French fries
                      :: Smoked salmon fumé, home-made bread, labneh
                      :: Middle-Eastern breakfast, eggs and lambconfit, foul, manouché, labneh and olives
                      :: Open Face foie-gras sandwich, confit pear and French fries
                      Freshly squeezed orange juice

                      1. re: dinedinee

                        That Middle Eastern sounds really amazing! Lambconfit and labneh? And Foul? yum yum yum. I'll have to look up Manouche, never heard of it.

                        1. re: moh

                          The Eggs and Soujouk was ordered by a lady next to me, sunny side up eggs on sausage. They looked VERY good, and the fries looked homemade. I may have to get it next time, if I don't get the yogourt first.

                  2. Tried the place for brunch today. The food was pretty good, no complaints about how it tastes. But...

                    I think the new Bazaar is ridiculously overpriced for the type of restaurant that it has become. I can understand that the real estate could be expensive in that district, but they need to do more than paper tablecloths, rock hard butter and cold bread (perhaps both came from the same fridge) to warrant a 13 dollar egg dish. The bread was not grilled as described in the menu, no olive oil either. Yeah the soujouk and eggs was delicious and fries were very good; but it is a simple dish with affordable ingredients, regardless of how much orientalist exoticizing is performed. I felt somewhat cheated paying that much money for it, especially at a oddly cold atmosphere. I never feel the same at Reservoir for brunch; because even though it is expensive they always deliver something that I cannot make at home, and always with some interesting twist.

                    And the 12 dollar yogurt? That milk better come from some wagyu cow, fed with white truffles and champagne. Good thing is at least they stopped charging for extra bread.